Upon Further Review – Addressing the Rules of Golf

Sitting on my couch eating ketchup chips and crushing pints of Triple Bogey beers should not give me, or anyone else outside the ropes, the authority to influence a golf tournament.  It doesn’t pass the common sense filter.  And while it’s been nice we’ve had a nice stretch of a few weeks without a serious rules incident in golf, allow me to wade into the murky waters of rules in golf.  Because like everyone else, I have an opinion on this and it needs some unpacking.

Rules matter.  I like the self-regulating nature of golf and I like the principle of play the ball where it lies and I like that many golfers will tell their partner they got a 6 instead of a 5.  In competitive play this becomes even more important.  But I also play for fun with family and friends and we don’t get all caught up in stroke and distance penalties, putting out 18” putts and we may even allow ourselves a chance to remove a ball from a bunker which resembles a parking lot more than a sand trap.  Relaxed rules, at times, are appropriate and keep the game fast and fun.

And that matters.  I can’t imagine what would happen if during the two or three times a year my wife plays that I went all ‘USGA’ on her and told her 6 holes later that her 8 was really an 12 because she didn’t place her ball appropriately back on the green after marking it.  You can kiss her participation goodbye from that point on.  And this is not to be hypocritical, she wants to play well and play properly but within the context of an afternoon out with friends.  I am a huge proponent of Relaxed Rules which I first saw on Golf Channel some time back.  The game is meant to be fun and played appropriately.  To her and our group, what is proposed here is most appropriate.

Now, getting back to the USGA…and the official rules of golf; I still believe we can allow for a greater filter of common sense to govern rules.  Pace of play and participation are issues facing the game.  For sticklers of rules a couple suggestions:

Stakes – more red stakes on courses.  Let’s simply take a stroke, drop a ball and be on with it.  The humiliation of going back to the tee to hit again does nothing positive for the game (and I know we should all be more mindful of hitting a provisional but you get my point).

Penalties – all one stroke, easy to understand and avoids confusion.

Phone-in rules infractions – Eliminated.  Simple as that, we’re liberated from this in my world.  Once a scorecard is signed, it’s good.  Phew, solved that one easy enough.

Common Sense – if in doubt…after all, very few of us have mastered the rules book, let’s use consensus among our playing partners and common sense prevail.

In closing, I love the game of golf.  But I am finding myself watching some tournaments with an impending sense of doom that my HDTV lacks the clarity of someone’s 80” 4D to see the most subtle of infraction which had zero impact on the integrity and outcome of the hole but cause a player to lose a tournament.  Golf is a game.  Golf is fun.  Let’s keep it that way.  And when appropriate, let’s honour the full set of rules but more so the integrity of the game which the rules are built upon.


Happy 2nd Birthday, 36aday


After today I will be entering my third year as a golf writer.  This blog has taken off beyond my expectations and I’m sincerely grateful for the support received by other bloggers, golf journalists, family and friends – both old and new.  This blog has also allowed me a chance to connect with other golfers from across Canada, the USA and all around the world.

I’ve been fortunate to join the Golf Journalists Association of Canada and feature my course reviews on Canadian Golf Magazine, a national online golf publication.  I’ve been able to travel and play great courses all across the country.   I participate regularly on #GolfChat – a weekly Twitter Chat about golf.  I was pleased, and a little surprised, to be awarded the 2015 Blog of the Year on GolfChat.  I’ve also created new friendships with other golf enthusiasts and writers.  I started a Facebook page this year as another means of engagement beyond Twitter and the blog.  I’ve experienced my first viral post which – my review of the impressive Stanhope golf course – shared on over 50 different Facebook pages.  Of course, the Stanhope review was part of an amazing bucket list golf experience in 2015.  Playing 10 of the top courses in Prince Edward Island is something I’ll never forget and hope I can experience again.

2016 holds a lot of promise with planned trips to BC, AB and NB (all of which will have golf involved and allow me to cross more courses off my bucket list).  I am excited about the prospects of teeing it up with Josh Strukoff, writer of the very informative golf blog, Golf Is Mental.  I have plans to re-brand; creating a custom logo to help advance the blog and my golf writing efforts.

To all of you who read and support my writing, thank you.  I’m going to celebrate this achievement with a cold pint of my favourite golf beer, TripleBogey.   In the meantime, keep it in the short grass and here’s to a great 2016.

In friendship, Mike


Another highlight from the past year, my first ace.


TripleBogey Beer – The Official Beer of the @36aday Blog

TripleBogey Beer – The Official Beer of the @36aday Blog


First, the marketing opportunities are gold. Marketing a beer to golfers is like ACME Corporation marketing roadrunner-killing gadgets to coyotes; it’s brilliant. As a twitter junkie, I followed the baby steps of the TripleBogey Brewing and Golf Co. from its early days. And as this golf season started I knew I had to try some of this beer and appropriately attire myself with swag. A golf weekend in early May provided me the drive to make this happen.

Geoff Tait is a great guy to know (aside from the obvious, I mean the guy owns a freakin’ brewery!). He’s personable, engaging and very helpful. I was able to procure some of +3’s finest and along with a snappy new +3 toque, and with my supplies secured headed out for an annual golf weekend outside of Sarnia, to a small community called Forest, Ontario. To make a long story short – the beer is awesome, the weather was horrible and my golf game may be as good as it’s ever been (which I attributed to the beer on twitter that weekend).

More on the beer: I love the clean taste. A lager with 5% alcohol, the tall cans provided a crisp finish. And I was able to enjoy a few over the course of the day and evening and not wake up for golf the next day feeling or looking like Keith Richards. To me that’s important. My playing partners also enjoyed the beer, some a little too much! This is not going to be as detailed as a wine review here. Simply put, I like the beer. I like it a lot. And when the winter months are over and my affinity for beer drinking goes up at a similar pace to my interest in playing golf, it is nice to know I have a go-to brand which will satisfy. It tastes like a good, clean Canadian-made brew, meaning it is not too light, watery or void of flavour.

At the time of this blog draft, it is not available for sale at the LCBO or the Beer Store in Ontario but I’m hopeful one day…

Check the website, follow Geoff on twitter and ask…no, demand, your course sell TripleBogey.

TripleBogey is the official beer of the @36aday blog. Drink TripleBogey…play better golf (worked for me!)